Over the next few weeks, visitors to Kent in the UK are in for a surprise. As part of the Folkestone Triennial (September 2 – November 5), artist Richard Woods has created a series of mini ‘holiday homes’ that have been placed in random locations around the town. Painted in bright colours and offset with a thick black trim, the striking houses call to mind surreal, animated cartoons.
Folkestone is one of the UK’s most ambitious art exhibitions, and Woods is one of a whole host of artists invited to partake. “Internationally recognised artists have been commissioned to create a collection of new artworks”, say festival organisers, “to be exhibited in Folkestone’s public spaces under the title ‘Double Edge’. Some of the works are due to remain in the town to add to its expanding art collection, Folkestone Artworks. The artists will each work on new site-specific commissions that respond to the physical and conceptual context of Folkestone, and so will further develop the inquiry into ‘sense of place’ that guided the Folkestone Triennial exhibition, ‘Lookout’, in 2014.”
“The title, ‘Double Edge’, draws on the extensive academic study of ‘edge’ concepts in recent years: borders; thresholds; margins; the periphery; the liminal. ‘Double Edge’ resonates with major contemporary cultural, economic and political realities experienced as part of everyday lives in Folkestone and across the globe: migration; border control; wealth inequality; sustainability; a challenging urban environment; and climate change, to name just a few.”
Woods’ work is actually inspired by his thoughts on the UK’s current housing crisis; “before his first visit to Folkestone, Richard Woods’ view of the town had been influenced by the ubiquitous advertising for holiday homes. His five-part installation, ‘Holiday Home’, will pop up in different (mostly absurd) locations around the town, each house being a third of the original size, and identical in form but painted in a variety of colourways. The work makes a connection between the so-called ‘housing crisis’ in the south-east of England, and the booming market in surplus/second homes (holiday homes).”